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Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes are High Presented by Adena Fritz June 9, 2009 NPMA Harbour Lights Chapter.

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Presentation on theme: "Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes are High Presented by Adena Fritz June 9, 2009 NPMA Harbour Lights Chapter."— Presentation transcript:

1 Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes are High Presented by Adena Fritz June 9, 2009 NPMA Harbour Lights Chapter

2 About the Book New York Times Best Seller Authors: Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzer Paperback, 230 pages $16.95 at Borders Information available online at

3 What is a Crucial Conversation? A Crucial Conversation is a discussion between two or more people where: Stakes are high, Opinions vary, and Emotions run strong.

4 Some Examples Talking to a coworker who behaves offensively Giving the boss feedback about his/her behavior Critiquing a colleague’s work Talking to a team member who is not keeping commitments Giving an unfavorable performance review Talking to a coworker about a personal hygiene problem

5 Three Options When faced with a Crucial Conversation you can do one of three things: 1. Avoid it 2. Face it and handle it poorly 3. Face it and handle it well

6 Reasons We Handle Them Poorly We are designed wrong We are under pressure (with a barely functioning brain) Caught off guard, we improvise We act in self-defeating ways and make things worse!

7 Reasons to Learn to Handle Them Well Improve your career Improve your organization Improve your relationships Improve your personal health Revitalize your community

8 Tool: Stay in Dialogue What it is: The free flow of meaning between two or more people What it is not: Debate or argument, trying to “win” Hints, sarcasm, innuendo, verbal attacks, accusations Giving the silent treatment, running away Playing games pool of shared meaning

9 “Start With the Heart” - begin with the right motives Stay focused on your goal no matter what If you fall out of dialogue ask: What do I want for myself? What do I want for others? What do I want for the relationship? How would I behave if I really wanted these things? How to Stay in Dialogue

10 Tool: Make it Safe Establish and maintain mutual purpose and respect Do others believe you care about their goals? Do they trust your motives? Do others believe you respect them?

11 When Safety is at Risk When mutual purpose and or respect are at risk, it is no longer “safe” and you are no longer in dialogue! Tools Apologize (when appropriate and sincere) Contrast to fix misunderstandings

12 Tool: Use Contrasting A don’t/do statement that: Addresses others’ concerns that you don’t respect them or that you have a malicious purpose Confirms your respect or clarifies your real purpose Is not apologizing Provides context and proportion Useful for prevention or first aid

13 Contrasting Role Plays Given a scenario, respond with a contrasting statement that: 1. Addresses the other’s conclusion that you don’t respect them or that you have a malicious purpose (the don’t part) 2. Confirms your respect or clarifies your real purpose (the do part)

14 Tool: Master Your Stories YOU Offensive claim  Others don’t make you mad – YOU make you mad!!  How? In between a persons action and our reaction, we tell ourselves a story Stories: Our interpretation of the facts Help us answer why and how and what

15 Path To Action SEE / HEAR TELL A STORY FEELACT Coworker meets privately with the boss to discuss a joint project. He does not trust me. He thinks I’m weak. If I say anything I will look emotional. Hurt Worried Silence Cheap shots

16 Retrace Your Path SEE / HEAR TELL A STORY FEELACT What factual evidence do I have that supports this story? What story is creating these emotions? What emotions are making me react this way? Have I fallen out of dialogue?

17 Clever Stories To Watch For Victim Stories Villain Stories Helpless Stories

18 the Whole Tell the Whole Story Turn victims into actors Am I pretending not to notice my role in the problem? Turn villains into humans Why would a reasonable, rational and decent person do what this person is doing? Turn the helpless into the able What do I really want for me? For others? For the relationship? What would I do right now if I really wanted these results?

19 Tool: STATE Your Path When you need to share controversial, touchy or unpopular views: S Share your facts T Tell your story A Ask for other’s paths T Talk Tentatively E Encourage Testing

20 Tool: STATE Your Path S Share your facts first Non-controversial Persuasive Least insulting

21 Tool: STATE Your Path T Tell your story “Based on the facts, I am beginning to conclude…” Be confident, but don’t pile on Watch for safety problems

22 Tool: STATE Your Path A Ask for other’s paths What are their facts? What is their story?

23 Tool: STATE Your Path T Talk Tentatively I was wondering… Perhaps you were unaware… In my opinion… Don’t be wimpy and do the message a disservice

24 Tool: STATE Your Path E Encourage Testing Encourage others to challenge you Invite opposing views “Does anyone see it differently?” “What am I missing here?” Play Devil’s Advocate “What if I’m wrong here…?”

25 STATE Role Plays S Share your facts T Tell your story A Ask for other’s paths T Talk Tentatively E Encourage Testing

26 In Conclusion When stakes are high, opinions vary and emotions run strong: Stay in Dialogue Make it Safe Use Contrasting Tell the Whole Story STATE your path

27 About the Book New York Times Best Seller Authors: Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzer Paperback, 230 pages $16.95 at Borders Information available online at


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